The Exercise Physiology degree program designed to prepare students for several professional avenues. Health and Fitness practitioners work in environments such as fitness facilities and community centers/organizations. Strength and conditioning specialists work with athletes for performance enhancement on professional, intercollegiate, or secondary school athletic programs. Clinical physiologists facilitate medically supervised exercise programs for persons with chronic disease including cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. Graduates from the Exercise Physiology program have also gone on to pursue terminal doctoral degrees in the exercise sciences or used the master’s program as a launching point for admission into post-graduate allied health professions such as physician assistant, physical therapists, and medical school.

The Graduate Exercise Physiology degree program takes about two years to complete. Each student in the program is required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours, which include:

Required Core (9 hours)

  • HSC 632 - Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology 3(3-0)
  • HSC 633 - Neuromuscular Physiology of Exercise 3(3-0)
  • HSC 634 - Experimental Design in Exercise Science 3(3-0)

Required Courses (9 hours)

  • HSC 635 - Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System 3(3-0)
  • HSC 638 - Endocrine and Metabolic Response to Exercise 3(3-0)
  • HSC 637 - Advanced Exercise Physiology 3(2-2)

Elective Courses (6-9 hours)

  • One of two capstone research experiences, Plan A or Plan B
Credit hours in the electives vary depending on whether a Plan A thesis (6 credits) or Plan B research study (3 credits) is selected.

Admission Requirements

The department reviews all applications and submitted documents in making a determination on admission and makes such recommendations to the College of Graduate Studies.

  1. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate overall grade point average of 3.0. Applicants who possess an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.
  2. Applicants must have completed at least one course in exercise physiology (CMU equivalent: HSC 308).
  3. Applicants must submit general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
  4. International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate their English language competency using one of the methods outlined by the College of Graduate Studies. 
  5. Applicants must submit an application, submit transcripts from all academic institutions attended, and submit two reference letters.

Retention Requirements:

  1. Students must achieve a 3.00 GPA to graduate and may not have more than two C or C+ grades in required classes to graduate.
  2. Students who may be admitted conditionally must demonstrate during the first semester that can achieve a 3.00 GPA. Grades of C- or less do not count for graduation.
  3. Students who do not maintain a 3.00 GPA or who have more than two C or C+ grades in required classes may be placed on academic probation. Continued academic probation in multiple terms may be considered in determining whether a student will be allowed to continue in the program.
  4. Students will be allowed to repeat a course no more than two times in order to improve the grade.

Application Deadline:  April 1

Apply Online at

Inquiries regarding the M.S. in Exercise Physiology at CMU should be addressed to:

Graduate Program Director
Naveen Sharma, Ph.D.
School of Health Sciences
Exercise Science Division
Health Professions Building 1174
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

Phone: 989-774-2927